Guest #16: Riaz Ahmad


Name: Riaz Ahmad
Lives in: Hunza, Pakistan
Occupation: Tour Operator

Riaz Ahmad was our guide in Pakistan. He is a tall lanky mountain climber and guide that grew up in the Hunza area of Northern Pakistan. He was a wealth of information on Pakistan as he rode with us for many days. He was able to put us at ease in Pakistan, a country which is more known for its dangerous areas rather than its unparalleled hospitality. Riaz looks forward to going back to school, once his brother is finished to study history or anthropology. He might find a future in politics as his rational outlook and his strong belief in the power of education allow him to see a hopeful future for Pakistan. Being true to his values, he spends his spare time in the community working to raise and distribute money to underprivileged students so they can obtain an education. To keep in shape and relax he loves to spend time in the mountains, hunting ibex and searching for precious stones. Riaz is the father of two daughters.

Would you be up for 9 months of travel like this?

If I could afford it, I would be definitely up for doing something like this.
What is your most memorable moment during your portion of the journey?
I enjoyed watching and hearing everyone talk about the motorway from Lahore to Islamabad. It is a beautiful road and everyone was very impressed with it. Apparently the team had experienced some pretty rough roads in previous countries.
What advice do you have for future travelers in the program?
When you come to Pakistan spend more time!
What surprised you the most?
I was surprised that a group of people would organize an event like this to benefit other people. I think this is a very generous project!
What was the best thing you ate?
Red Bull, Dahl, chicken, and chapatis
What was the most difficult part of the traveling experience?
On some parts of the Karakorum Highway the road was very rough due to wash outs. Also, there were areas during the drive from Islamabad to Besham where the communities were somewhat distrustful of Americans, therefore we had to maintain a low profile as to avoid possible conflicts.